The Boat Trip


 
     
 

The other day I was asked as to what my perfect trip would be. After much reflection I came up with the following criteria: getting away from one's normal surroundings to see somewhere new and completely different; traveling with just a handful of friends to score perfect surfing and windsurfing conditions; having great no wind/no wave alternatives such as diving, fishing and other similar water based pursuits. If all these things could be achieved whilst staying and exploring new islands and new ways of life on a boat deep in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, nothing could be more idyllic for me…

 
 

The idea was Scott's. A regular visitor to Fiji, he has become quite attached to the area grasping any opportunity he can to return. Also a seasoned World Tour competitor, Scott Carvill really is a phenomenal sailor. He does however excel more in perfect waves such as those found in Fiji, rather than the more varied wind blown conditions found at the majority of the World Tour stops. This is largely due to his roots: born and raised in Oahu, he has been exposed to great waves his whole life. Bjorn Dunkerbeck is also coming on the trip. Very little introduction is needed here, except to say that the twelve time World Champion is now truly living his dream. Focusing purely on the wavesailing discipline of the World Tour, he finally has the time to travel with his friends in the search of perfect waves and great times.

The boat (click to enlarge)   
 


Then there is Vittorio Marcelli: the vivacious Italian always adds spice to any trip. Focused on the lifestyle side of windsurfing, a trip to Fiji was a natural option, as indeed it was for Sugar, Bjorn's long time friend from the Canaries. Here to catch some great waves and fish, he is also here chronicling Bjorn for his movie. Finally, your lowly scribe: Fiji has always been a dream for me, traveling my passion. So to come here with a couple of friends to experience everything the ocean has to offer is something I jumped at without a second thought. Let the adventure begin…

 

   The boys: Scott, Vittorio, Hansi, Bjorn, Tristan (click to enlarge)


"Wake up, wake up Tristan, we're in Fiji!" Vittorio shouts rather loudly in my ear after a fairly uncomfortable night's sleep on the plane from Oahu. The bright lights and loud music from the bars of Honolulu are still playing havoc with my senses. Is this for real? Am I not dreaming? Am I finally in Fiji, the place I've dreaming of since I was a little kid? My questions are answered without further delay:

"Bula! We have now arrived in Nadi where the local time is 6.45am and the temperature is 27 degrees. Welcome to Fiji and enjoy your stay". That, I can tell you, we certainly intend to do!

 

The limousine/taxi that left us back in Oahu is now an open back lorry in Fiji. I am certainly not complaining as we make our way down the long and bumpy road to our rendezvous in the South of the Island. This is where our boat awaits us. Even the beauty of the scenery surrounding us during this truck ride is enough to take my breath away. However I have the feeling that these tropical images, beautiful enough for any postcard from paradise, will pale in comparison to what awaits us aboard the 'Beqa Princess', the 65 foot boat that is to be our home for the next few weeks. It is at times like these that I do realise and appreciate just how lucky we are to be living the lifestyle that we lead.

 

The late arrival of our equipment means we are forced to spend an extra day on dry land. We aren't too disheartened about this though, as the surf is small, it's Sunday (Fijians are very religious and consider it unacceptable to go surfing and windsurfing on Sundays) and it gives us the chance to get our first taste of local Fijian culture. A resident American girl invites us to a story telling/sing along that she does weekly with schoolchildren from a local village. We sit right at the back of the classroom and watch on. It is so great to see kids aged anything from about 6 to 15 years old content with sitting around in a circle singing songs where in the States or Europe they would be locked up in their room playing 'Game-boy' or something of that ilk.

Market (click to enlarge)   
 
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